Search suspended for missing NC boater after fisherman dies, Coast Guard says

MH 60 Jayhawk helicopter. WNCT file photo

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Coast Guard Sector North Carolina suspended its search Sunday for a fisherman reported overdue with two others near Bogue Inlet Friday.

The fishing trip off the North Carolina coast ended with one man recovered, another who died and the third who is still missing.

This is the second case in two weeks in North Carolina of boaters vanishing along the coast while fishing. In late August, two men who left Oak Island to go fishing were reported missing and their empty boat was later found along the South Carolina coast.

In the most recent case, three men were fishing in a 19-foot skiff that capsized. It was discovered Saturday by a Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City approximately five miles southwest of Bogue Inlet.

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The Coast Guard recovered two of the three people on the vessel. One fisherman was hoisted and transferred to Smithfield Airport where he was transferred to local EMS for evaluation. The second person was unresponsive when recovered and later died.

The third person remains missing.

The Coast Guard and local agencies searched 2,400-square nautical miles for more than 44 hours off the North Carolina coast before suspending the case.

“Following extensive searches on the water and from the air over the weekend, we made the difficult decision to suspend search operations on Sunday evening,” said Cmdr. Matt Moorlag, Sector North Carolina Chief of Response. “We have been in close contact with the families, and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”

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